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Electronic documents for clearing imports allowed: CBIC

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WorldIndiaConfirmed10,815Deaths353Confirmed1,917,320Deaths119,483In a move that will help movement of essential goods and commodities through customs, the government has allowed importers and customs brokers to give electronic out of charge copies of bill of entry and eGatepass from April 15.

The latest reform towards paperless customs will help tide over difficulties during the Covid 19 pandemic spread by reducing interface or contact with authorities, the government said, and will enable easier movement of goods to move out of customs areas after checks, besides reducing costs.

“The Board notes that the specific measures that reduce interface between the customs authorities and the importers/exporters/Customs Brokers are especially relevant in these challenging times, to tackle the scourge of Covid-19 pandemic,” the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs said in a circular dated April 13.

The electronic passes will replace physically signed documents. Customs will do away with the requirement of taking bulky printouts from the service centre, and maintenance of voluminous physical dockets in the customs houses.

In order to mitigate the unprecedented situation due to Covid-19 pandemic, CBIC has taken several measures to facilitate and expedite customs clearance, including making procedures automated, online and paper-less, clearing goods on basis of undertaking and acceptance of electronic country of origin certificates.

Once granted, the final electronic out of charge or eOoC copy of bill of entry and eGatepass copy will be emailed to the concerned customs broker or importers. The eGatepass copy will be used by the gate officer or the custodian to allow physical exit of the imported goods from the customs area.

DG Systems will enable an online system which will generate the PDF versions of eOoC copy that will bear a digitally signed and encrypted QR code – which will carry details of the package – which can be scanned to verify the authenticity of the document using Mobile App ICETRAK.

An eGatepass generated electronically and sent to importers or customs brokers, will contain details of the consignment, but two types of QR codes. One, for the entire eGatepass document and another for each container or package covered under the Gatepass.

CBIC will instruct field formations to ensure registration of all custodians in ICEGATE as per the advisory of DG Systems, so that the potential benefits of the new measures could be reaped across the entire customs ecosystem.

Further, trade and industry will be made aware of the changes through notices or standing orders.


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